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Old Saturday 15th September 2012, 19:28   #1
forent
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Smile The perfect DIY digiscoping adapter ;-)

Please forgive the loudmouthed title but this little thing is my pride and joy today!

I wanted to connect my Canon S95 compact camera with my beloved Nikon Fieldscope ED 82A. After twiddling a while with plumber pipes, rubber bands, bog rolls etc. (oh well…) I decided that I needed a real digiscoping adapter that should work as well as the original Nikon equipment (see http://www.nikon.com/products/sporto...stem/index.htm). Nikon offers some fine (and expensive) digiscoping adapters for its Coolpix cameras but IMHO no sensible solution for cameras of other brands. Canon itself does not supply anything at all for this task. “Universal” adapters of third-party makers are – again IMHO – usually cumbersome, shaky, inaccurate, and more often than not pretty pricey.

Luckily I have managed to make an adapter with simple handyman tools that provides nearly the same functionality than the original Nikon FSB’s, is sturdy, easy to use, compact and cheap. And, most importantly, it aligns the optical axis of the camera lens and the Fieldscope eyepiece accurately and maintains the optimal distance between them. To change the battery or the SD card I have to take the camera out but this is a matter of seconds. The adapter consists of a little rectangular box made exactly to the camera’s dimensions from 21mm film coated plywood, 6mm wallboard, and two pieces of a plastic profil rail. The wallboard holds a 1/4" screw for the tripod socket of the camera. In front of the plywood I bolted a 34mm (male) to 58mm (female) step-up ring (ordered from China via e*ay) that surrounds the camera lens very tightly and hence allows for its precise centering. At the upper frame of the plywood sits a little angle iron to hold the cable release (I drilled a 3,5mm hole with a 4x0.7mm thread for that). Left from the angle iron I filed the frame off to get easy access to the front control ring. All parts mentioned so far cost less than 15 Euros (including the cable release).

To connect the adapter to the fieldscope I had to buy the Nikon FSA adapter rings. If you own Nikon DS eyepieces the Nikon FSA-3 is sufficient: It screws to the 58mm thread of the step-up ring an matches the DS eyepieces directly. The FSA-3 is available in Germany for slightly more than 20 Euros. If you have Nikon MC eyepieces only (like me) you need in addition the rings FSA-1 & FSA-2 that surround the MC eyecup with a DS mount. I paid for the whole set FSA-1-3 less than 40 Euros last year.

The following pictures are self-explanatory. It should be easy to customize the construction for other cameras and scopes.

Now after completing the adapter I have to master the REALLY difficult task – become a better digiscoper.

http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-1.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-2.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-3.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-4.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-5.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-6.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-7.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-8.jpg
http://i979.photobucket.com/albums/a...erse/AA1-9.jpg

Last edited by forent : Saturday 15th September 2012 at 19:38.
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Old Monday 11th February 2013, 21:38   #2
dwminnich
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Hi Forent,

Thanks for the detailed description and photos. Now that you've had several months to use this, is there anything you would do differently if you were to build another?

--dave
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2013, 23:53   #3
Marcobf
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To anyone interested the FSA (Includes 1, 2 and 3) adapters are available here for £4 (Four pounds)

http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-n...t-fsa/p1002459
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Old Monday 25th March 2013, 16:37   #4
birdwatcher117
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Looks great thanks for photos
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Old Tuesday 30th July 2013, 05:11   #5
forent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwminnich View Post
Hi Forent,
Thanks for the detailed description and photos. Now that you've had several months to use this, is there anything you would do differently if you were to build another?
--dave
(Belated answer, I know... )
No, I would build the adapter exactly the same way again. In fact it has proven to be very useful and sturdy. The only thing I#m not really happy with is the cable release unit - actually it is pretty cumbersome in the foto bag. But, well, I see no way to do it better. It's such a pity that there is nearly no small digicam available that takes an electrical cable release!
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Old Thursday 7th November 2013, 18:46   #6
davpen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forent View Post
It's such a pity that there is nearly no small digicam available that takes an electrical cable release!
I agree, which is one of the reasons I can't help being interested in the forthcoming (2/3" sensor) Fuji XQ1. As well as being able to take an electrical cable release it's also got Full HD video, supposedly superfast and accurate AF, and a decent 25-100mm efl lens. The only thing is - I'm not sure if the lens is going to be digiscope-friendly. Apparently it's the same one as used on the Fuji XF1, but I've never heard of that camera being tested for digiscoping. Has anyone else?

I know, this question would probably have been better asked on a new thread in the digiscoping cameras section.

David

Last edited by davpen : Thursday 7th November 2013 at 18:50.
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